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Phronimon

On-line version ISSN 2413-3086
Print version ISSN 1561-4018

Abstract

MKHWANAZI, Ezekiel. Does Covid-19 Rupture Theodicy? Theo-philosophical Musings. Phronimon [online]. 2021, vol.22, n.1, pp.1-14. ISSN 2413-3086.  http://dx.doi.org/10.25159/2413-3086/8551.

When Covid-19 first broke out in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, no one suspected it would go beyond an epidemic. Within less than three months it had become a worldwide pandemic. In the first 15 months since it broke out in Wuhan, the disease grew exponentially, manifesting itself in different variants: Alpha (UK); Beta (South Africa); Gamma (Japan and Brazil); and Delta (India). In August 2021, confirmed cases were 204 million people worldwide, with about 4 million people deceased. Although the mortality rate has halted in China and slightly abated in continental Europe, Canada, Asia and South America, due to medical and social intervention strategies, it is steadily climbing in the USA and Africa. The first vaccine was ready only 12 months after the pandemic broke out, making it one of the quickest manufactured vaccines. For those who operate within a theistic framework, an avalanche of existential questions surfaced: Is this the end of the world? If so, does God, the omnipotent, omniscient and loving Divine being, not care about what seems to be the decimation of human beings on Planet Earth? If the Divine being cares, has it lost its power perhaps? Or, if it is still powerful, has it lost its affectivity? This article gives a theo-philosophical exploration of these questions to make "sense" of what seems like God's silence amid the loud noise of the Corona virus. The article asks whether God could be blamed in what may seem like silence, and argues on the meaning of God's "silence." It then constructs a theodicy that dispenses God of any wrongdoing in the current pandemic.

Keywords : Covid-19; evil; God; human suffering; theism; theodicy; virus.

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